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20 Most Popular Toy Story Characters Of All Time Ranked

The unstoppable "Toy Story" franchise helped bring forth a revolution in animation, kicking off a seismic shift from traditionally hand-drawn animation into the world of computer-generated imagery. The movies have also been massively successful at the box office, with "Toy Story 3" and "Toy Story 4" each earning over a billion dollars worldwide while both winning the Academy Award for best animated feature. There's also a number of short specials, "Toy Story" rides at the Disney theme parks, and an endless swathe of awesome merchandise.

The real reason "Toy Story" has endlessly endured since its debut back in 1995 is hidden in its phenomenal cast of characters. Some appear for just a few moments, while others are front and center for all four films. While dozens of characters have made an impression, we're here to decide which "Toy Story" characters are the very best, narrowing it down to just twenty. Without further ado, here are the 20 most popular "Toy Story" characters of all time ranked.

20. Wheezy

The single most heartbreaking toy in Andy's (John Morris) room, all Wheezy (Joe Ranft) wants to do is be played with. Unfortunately for him, his squeaker was broken and he was placed high up on Andy's dusty shelves. He may have been forgotten and doomed to spend the rest of his time up there if he wasn't found by Woody (Tom Hanks) after his arm was damaged. It turns out Andy's mom never got him fixed like she promised, leaving him to gather dust instead. He's spent ages trying to get his friends to find him, but since his squeaker doesn't work, nobody ever found him.

"What's the point," Wheezy asks, "in prolonging the inevitable? We're all just one stitch away from here, to there," as he points to a yard sale, causing a panic amongst the other toys. Wheezy is then placed in a sale box for a measly 25 cents, and while Woody's valiant attempt to save his friend works, it also ends up in Woody being taken. At the end of "Toy Story 2," Wheezy's voice is gloriously restored, and the no longer dusty toy penguin croons the fantastic "You've Got a Friend in Me" to his fellow toys.

The joy for Wheezy doesn't last in "Toy Story 3," as he's nowhere to be found in the film. Wheezy is one of the many toys lost over the years, a crushing reminder that life is all too finite, even for a toy.

19. Duke Caboom

"Yes, I Canada!"

He's handsome, he's confident, and he's extremely Canadian –- he's Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves). His glorious facial hair and the red-and-white daredevil outfit are every bit as magnificent as the sleek maple leaf-clad motorcycle he rides on. However, like just about every new character introduced in "Toy Story 4," he comes with a pretty tragic backstory. He harbors some serious self-doubt as his child lost interest in him when he discovered he couldn't jump like the Duke Caboom from the commercials could. That problem has resulted in a lifetime of second-guessing, and all Caboom feels like he can do successfully is crash –- no wonder he winds up in the antique store.

The hilarious and heartbreaking daredevil struggles mightily but ends up embracing his failures, thanks to a great pep talk from Bo Peep (Annie Potts), who assures him that crashing is what makes him special. Regaining his confidence, he crashes in absolutely spectacular fashion, launching himself forty feet over the amusement park to achieve his goal. The character is brilliantly designed, perfectly voiced by Reeves, and also provides a fantastic message for kids — your failures do not define you, they only make you stronger.

18. Bonnie

In many ways, "Toy Story 3" is about making way for the next generation, and it requires a new child to effectively mark the transition. That child ended up being Bonnie, played by Emily Hahn in "Toy Story 3" and Madeleine McGraw in "Toy Story 4," the shy youngster who comes alive when she plays with her toys. In "Toy Story 3," it's simply a joy to see Woody be played with again, and Bonnie's happiness represents the magic of the entire "Toy Story" franchise -– that indescribable thrill you got as a child when playing with your toys.

After Andy gives all his toys to Bonnie, "Toy Story 4" marks the first film in the franchise to revolve around Bonnie instead of Andy. In the movie, she's a few years older, but she's no less passionate about her toys, although she surprisingly has lost interest in Woody. Her new favorite toy is one she makes herself, who she calls Forky (Tony Hale), who is a fork. Bonnie is a lovely addition to the world of "Toy Story," and it's great to see a child love toys again. While she's mostly a character defined by her relationships with the toys, the future could hold plenty of great adventures for Bonnie.

17. Emperor Zurg

The menacing Emperor Zurg (Andrew Stanton) may not have much screen time in "Toy Story 2," but he certainly makes his impact known. At the beginning of the film, he has an epic face-off with Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and successfully defeats him, vaporizing Buzz's entire upper half. Thankfully for fans, a "GAME OVER" message flashes on the screen, and it turns out it is just Rex (Wallace Shawn) playing a video game.

Later in the film, a real-life Zurg emerges from Al's Toy Barn and sets out to vanquish Buzz. We get another fantastic action set-piece between the two, this time in an elevator shaft, as the pair duels yet again. Zurg has the upper hand, continually bashing Buzz into a wall before throwing him down. Zurg feels like he's strongly inspired by legendary Star Wars villain Darth Vader, which is all but confirmed when Buzz says, "I'll never give in. You killed my father!" To which Zurg reveals:

"No, Buzz. I am your father."

It's all an unmistakably glorious parody of the pivotal scene in "The Empire Strikes Back," right down to the shout of "No!" and an epic fall down the elevator shaft. Thankfully, Zurg doesn't meet a gruesome end and is instead soon seen playing catch with a different Buzz Lightyear toy, making it a happy ending for this epic villain.

16. Stinky Pete

The surprising villain of "Toy Story 2," Stinky Pete (Kelsey Grammer), is the initially charming toy that's still in his box who Woody meets when he is introduced to the other toys from "Woody's Roundup." However, Pete has never been played with and spent his life waiting to be loved on a store shelf. While Pete initially appears to be protective and deeply caring for Bullseye and Jessie (Joan Cusack), it turns out he's anything but. When the group tries to escape to avoid being sold to a museum in Tokyo, Pete intervenes, replacing his fatherly exterior with his sinister, bitter reality.

Stinky Pete receives a pretty tragic ending. As a toy obsessed with remaining perfect, he's doomed to spend his life with a child who colors and paints all over her Barbies. Sure, Pete is selfish, and he tries to ruin Woody's life, but Pete's backstory makes him one of the more interesting characters in the franchise. He's given a lot of nuances, and it is pretty heartbreaking to see him cursed with a life he's desperately tried to avoid.

15. Gabby Gabby

When we first meet Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) in "Toy Story 4," she seems downright villainous, being carried through the creepy antique store by her assistant Benson (Steve Purcell). It appears she has some sinister plans for Woody, and it turns out those suspicions are correct, as Gabby Gabby is after Woody's functional voice box since hers is broken. It doesn't take long to get to the heart of why she wants, or indeed needs, Woody's voicebox: she has never experienced the love of a child and believes that her faulty voice is the reason no child has ever taken her home.

The character has the reverse trajectory of Stinky Pete, going from an antagonist to a helpful supporting character, and she plays a crucial role in some emotional scenes. Woody voluntarily gives Gabby his voicebox in a move that signals a big development for the cowboy, and it allows for Gabby's many decades of solitude to finally come to an end. Except, for this character we've grown to sympathize with deeply over the course of the film, it's not that easy, and she's coldly rejected by the child of her dreams, Harmony (Lila Sage Bromley). 

Gabby deserves her spot here for delivering some seriously heartbreaking and heartwarming moments, and eventually, she finally gets the love she's been waiting for her whole life.

14. Sid

Sid (Erik von Detten) is nothing short of a menace. He lives next door to Andy and provides a sharp contrast to Andy and how kids play with their toys. While Andy adores taking his toys on grand adventures, Sid has a distinct preference for putting his toys through some cruel and unusual punishment, which extends to his little sisters' precious toys too. Sid is a great and frightening villain in the original "Toy Story," though he may have a comeuppance that took things too far.

Even though Sid was objectively cruel to his toys, tearing them apart to create hideous new combinations, he didn't deserve what happened to him, and it's fair to say that no child would. Woody broke the toy's big rule of never revealing their sentience to children to speak directly to Sid as his toys turned against him, saying, "From now on you must take good care of your toys, because if you don't, we'll find out ... We toys can see everything! So play nice!" Sure, it's a message that Sid (and all the kids watching) could probably benefit from hearing, but it's fair to say a moment like this could destroy a kid's life forever.

Thankfully, it didn't end up completely eviscerating Sid's future, as he has a small cameo in "Toy Story 3," where he's revealed to be working as a garbage man and is still even wearing his signature skull t-shirt.

13. Bullseye

A character that doesn't need to utter a single word to be beloved, Bullseye is introduced in "Toy Story 2" as part of "Woody's Roundup." Bullseye is a horse and Woody's loyal steed and has a strong relationship with Jessie as the two spent years together in Al's apartment. Because Bullseye never speaks, his feelings are all conveyed physically, and thanks to some genius character design, you never have to second guess what Bullseye is going through.

It seems like Bullseye has the biggest eyes of anybody, which allows his emotions to come through boldly. This is seen very clearly when unmistakable disappointment flashes in his eyes after Woody tells the gang he's going to escape the apartment as soon as his arm is fixed. He's steadfast in his determination to help those who need him, and his selflessness comes in handy many times, and without Bullseye, Woody would have never been saved in "Toy Story 2." You can always rely on Bullseye to be there for you, and he'll take you where you need to go with a smile on his face, more than earning his placement on our list.

12. Forky

A lot of fans were concerned when "Toy Story 4" was announced, as it seemed like the third film was the perfect conclusion to the glorious world of toys that come to life. Did another movie in the "Toy Story" series make sense? While the answer ended up being an emphatic yes, the doubts didn't go away when the announcement that the big new addition to the cast was — a fork.

Well, in fairness, Forky was made with love by Bonnie, but he is indeed a plastic utensil, but he's closer to a spork (a fork-spoon combo) than a traditional fork. He stands out from all the other toys as he's made by a child, but that results in Forky becoming Bonnie's prized possession. Thankfully, when fans watched the film, they realized something they couldn't have expected, as Forky is pretty darn brilliant.

Thanks to a magnificent performance from Tony Hale, Forky is wholly unique in the way he recognizes himself as trash and is always trying to throw himself away. This odd behavior leads to a fantastic montage with Woody's constant attempts to save him. Forky is hysterical and a clever reflection on the way toys, and by extension, commercial goods, are treated in society. Forky has proved to be such a hit that he even has his own show –- "Forky Asks a Question" –- on Disney+.

11. Slinky Dog

Like all good dogs, Slinky Dog (Jim Varney) is incredibly loyal. He's deeply devoted to Woody and is always the first person to come to his defense. Even when it appears that Woody pushed Buzz out of the window in "Toy Story," Slinky remains steadfast in his determination that Woody is innocent even though everyone else jumps to attack Woody. When Slinky discovers that Woody is guilty, he's the last one to walk away, giving puppy dog eyes for the ages as he closes the blinds. 

When the toys eventually realize that Woody didn't kill Buzz (in Slinky's defense, the evidence was pretty overwhelming), Slinky is thrilled to see his beloved friend is innocent after all. Slinky's gravelly southern drawl stands apart from the rest of the crowd, thanks to Varney's soulful performance. That voice remained every bit as charming when Varney was replaced after his death by Blake Clark in 2010, albeit in a reduced role.

Slinky's impact stretches beyond the films themselves. He has an attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, the Slinky Dog Dash, where parkgoers can hop on Slinky's back for a lovely rollercoaster ride.

10. Rex

Despite his menacing appearance, the green Tyrannosaurus rex, simply named Rex, perfectly portrayed by Wallace Shawn, is a beloved presence through every "Toy Story" film. He introduces himself with a magnificent roar that doesn't phase Woody, and as Rex puts it, "I'm going for fearsome here, but I just don't feel it!" Underneath his tough exterior is a deeply anxious dino, who is genuinely scared of just about everything in the original "Toy Story" — but perhaps nothing more than a kid bringing another dinosaur toy to Andy's birthday party.

While Rex's panic often causes chaos, he is always a comforting toy throughout the films and has an enjoyable evolution over the four movies. He becomes a passionate gamer in "Toy Story 2," and when he's introduced to Bonnie's toys, instead of being terrified of another dinosaur toy, he strikes up a wonderful friendship with Triceratops Trixie (Kristen Schaal) over their shared love of gaming and technology. It's a pleasure to watch Rex grow into a more confident character, and while he never fully shakes his anxiety, he does always remain a welcome presence and one of the very best characters in "Toy Story."

9. Hamm

The wisecracking piggy bank, Hamm (John Ratzenberger) is one of the straight-up funniest characters in the world of Toy Story. He takes pleasure in antagonizing his friends. In the first film, when Hamm sees Buzz has a laser, he says pointedly, "How come you don't have a laser, Woody?" In "Toy Story 2," he's quite the paramour, and while everyone else is stunned by the Barbies in Al's Toy Barn, Hamm confidently asks them for directions and moves Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles) aside, saying, "make room for the single fellas."

Hamm really gets to ham it up (pardon the pun) in the opening of "Toy Story 3," where he plays Dr. Evil Porkchop in the film's exquisite opening sequence. He revels in his temporary villainy by wearing a mischievous black eye patch, working it like he's on a fashion runway, and arriving in an enormous ship shaped like him. Without hesitation, he drops a massive barrel of monkeys and prepares to shoot an enormous laser to destroy our beloved Woody, Jessie, and Buzz. It's a good thing the scene takes place in Andy's imagination because if Hamm ever became a real villain, the toys might be in some serious trouble.

8. Lotso Huggin Bear

The writers of the "Toy Story" franchise mine a lot of emotion from the relationships kids have with toys and the effect both have on the other — even if it leads to some tragic backstories. One such character with an emotional past is Lotso Huggin Bear (Ned Beatty), who is replaced by his child after she accidentally leaves him behind on a trip.

When we first meet Lotso, he's the head toy in charge at Sunnyside Daycare, where all of Andy's toys have been accidentally donated. His fluffy pink body and his relaxed voice make him someone the toys place their trust in –- and he even smells like strawberries! When the toys plan to escape Sunnyside, Lotso reveals his true intentions, that the toys aren't going anywhere, as the children finally have new toys to torment, and he's not willing to let that change.

As the best villain in the franchise, Lotso is unrelenting in his cruelty, but he's also extremely intelligent, and reprogramming Buzz to stop the gang is a mastermind level move. Lotso even double downs on his evil, as he has every chance to stop the toys from heading to the incinerator at the end of "Toy Story 3," but he refuses to help them, leading to one of the most emotional scenes in Pixar's history. Though the toys end up surviving, there's no mistaking that Lotso is the most sinister character to appear in the world of toys.

7. Mr. Potato Head

Going from the cruelest character to the funniest, Mr. Potato Head is the franchises' comedic icon. Voiced by the legendary insult comic Don Rickles, who The New York Times called "comedy's equal opportunity offender," Potato Head was quick to snap at anyone and everyone. However, he is so hysterical when on the attack that he never feels villainous, instead making himself a vital part of the story's fabric. Just enjoy some of his best lines:

"You uncultured swine! What are you looking at, ya hockey puck?"

"We're not preschool toys, Slink, we can read!"

"Well, that mistake is sitting in your spot, Woody."

Even while Potato Head is shredding his friends with his cutting observations, you can't help but love him. He somehow manages to get even funnier when Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris) is introduced, resulting in one of the most gut-busting moments in the franchise's history. In "Toy Story 2," Mr. Potato Head looks down while seated next to Tour Guide Barbie, repeating, "I'm a married spud." 

Rickles had such a command over the character that it was impossible to replace him after his death. Amazingly, since there were so many recordings of Rickle's in character, Entertainment Weekly reports that Pixar was able to use already recorded lines to honor the comedian's legacy and keep him in "Toy Story 4" without replacing the actor.

6. Bo Peep

"How about I find someone to watch the sheep tonight?" Bo Peep once asked Woody, humorously referencing the pair's romantic relationship. In the first couple of "Toy Story" films, the soft-spoken character wears a sheep herders outfit featuring an enormous pink dress. However, in "Toy Story 4," Woody makes a startling discovery when he learns that Bo Peep now lives happily as a lost toy, alongside her sheep Billy, Goat, and Gruff, experiencing amazing freedom unencumbered by children. Being a lost toy has worked wonders for her, as she's been able to come into her own skin, making her one of the most well-rounded characters in the series.

Bo Peep deserves such a high placement for her remarkable evolution over the "Toy Story" films, transforming from a quiet lady largely defined by her relationship with Woody into a complete and independent woman. "Toy Story 4" cleverly contextualizes Bo Peep's experiences so they feel genuine rather than random, and from the first moment she appears in the fourth film it's clear she's set to be a major part of the story. The relationship between Bo Peep and Woody is more important in the fourth film than ever before, and it all leads to a hugely emotional and well-earned finale.

5. Andy

Without Andy, "Toy Story" as we know it may not exist. The first three films in the series all hinge on the relationship between Andy, the toys, and the indescribable happiness they experience when they all play together. For a character so essential to the way "Toy Story" works, he's not seen that often, as the toys cannot be sentient when Andy is around. In the first couple of films, he's a young child who wants nothing more than to play with his beloved toys, but none more than his best friend, Woody.

"Toy Story 3" is the film that cements Andy as such a fantastic character. The film takes place many years after the second, and Andy is preparing to go away to college. He's not sure what to do with the toys that were so vital to his childhood, but he ultimately makes the tough decision to give them all to Bonnie. In a heartbreaking and sublime sequence, Andy introduces each toy to Bonnie, and you can feel the love and passion he has for every single one of them. He plays with Bonnie and the toys one last time, and it's a beautiful moment that speaks to Pixar's sensational ability to tug at your heartstrings like no other studio. 

As Andy drives away for the last time, holding back tears, Woody, sitting with his friends on Bonnie's porch, utters "So long, partner," marking Andy's departure from the toys and our lives.

4. Little Green Men

Who could have seen it coming –- the Little Green Men are first seen in "Toy Story" at the Pizza Planet arcade have become the symbol of everything that makes the franchise so wonderful. They live in the claw game in the arcade, where they all worship the mighty claw that chooses their destiny. The squeaky little guys want nothing more than to be picked by the claw –- just their line reading of "The Claw" is unforgettable, and it leads to both Woody and Buzz being claimed by Sid.

Despite not having names or being even remotely distinguishable from one another, the Little Green Men manage to be indispensable to the film's universe. They're also the reason the toys weren't burned in the mortifying incinerator in "Toy Story 3," repaying a great deed when Mr. Potato Head prevented a trio of the aliens from jumping out a window. As the toys hold hands and accept their tragic fate, the little green men swoop in with a giant claw, rescuing them from a fiery fate. It allows Potato Head to return their endlessly quotable line, "You saved our lives, we are eternally grateful." 

The design of the Little Green Men is amongst the most iconic of all Pixar characters. With their short stature, blue outfits, three eyes, and green heads, they are completely indelible.

3. Buzz Lightyear

Possessing the most memorable line in all of "Toy Story" –- that's "To infinity, and beyond," of course –- Buzz Lightyear is next on our list. Buzz has so many iconic moments, taking hold of audiences right from his fantastic introduction, complete with echoes of "2001: A Space Odyssey." 

Buzz has an unshakable confidence that rattles Woody and amazes everyone else, though Buzz has a rare and emotional setback when he realizes Woody was right, and he really is a toy. Buzz isn't often thought of as one of the funnier "Toy Story" characters, but his deadpan delivery is often hilarious, and his role as Spanish Buzz in "Toy Story 3" was a joy to behold. Though he may not be a real-life space ranger, he manages to find love with Jessie, which is one of the series' more delightful developments.

Buzz is a pretty magnificent character and is such a big deal that he's starring in his very own Pixar film, "Lightyear," which is a spinoff that explores the origins of the character. He's also got his own animated series from the early 2000s in "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command" and an endless array of merchandise that more than proves the character's endless appeal. He may not be able to fly, but he sure can fall with style.

2. Jessie

An emphatic and passionate "Yeehaw" introduces us to cowgirl Jessie, who is so close to the very top of the list she can practically taste it. Jessie's delightful and optimistic facade covers a deeply traumatized character, and of all the tragic backstories in the "Toy Story" universe, hers may just be the most gut-wrenching. 

Despite all her trauma, Jessie is able to carry on and be an essential part of the gang, even coming to Woody's heroic rescue with the help of Bullseye at the end of "Toy Story 2." Jessie is such a terrific character that she may have even nabbed the top spot. However, the fact that she doesn't appear in the first "Toy Story" at all prevents that. Through her relationships with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the toys, she is able to regain her ability to trust others, which is so special to watch unfold.

Buzz may have the spinoffs and his own TV show, but Jessie narrowly overtakes him on the list for having the single most emotional scene from the franchise, all set to the devastating Sarah McLachlan song, "When She Loved Me." Jessie had a taste of the limelight when she starred in "Toy Story of Terror!" but we think it's high time the fantastic cowboy gets her very own feature film. Plus, Cusack is perfect in bringing Jessie to life and deserves a magnificent starring role.

1. Woody

It all comes down to Woody, the main character of every single "Toy Story" movie. It couldn't be anyone else but Woody at the top, as every film sends Woody on a unique emotional journey and remarkable physical adventure. Through a ton of incredible moments, Woody experiences more development than any other character, which is why Woody is adored the world over.

When Buzz Lightyear first enters Andy's room, Woody is terrified and uses his fear as a weapon to try to take down Buzz so he can remain as Andy's undisputed favorite. Over time his cruelty fades as Woody realizes it's not the right thing to do, and throughout the four films, Woody is unquestionably the gang's moral compass. They look to him for guidance in almost every situation, which is what makes him their unshakable leader.

His incredible journey comes to an emotional yet satisfying conclusion in "Toy Story 4," when Woody makes the incredibly tough choice to leave his friends behind for a new start at life with Bo Peep and the lost toys. For the first three films, Woody has been terrified of being left alone, with nobody there to play with him. Both his beloved owners, Andy and Bonnie, have moved on from him, but Woody manages the most challenging feat of all –- finding value in yourself and not solely in how you relate to others. 

Woody's decision perfectly crystalizes his character development and cements his place as the greatest character in "Toy Story." After all, he's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west.